May 22, 2018 | ° F

EDITORIAL: Rutgers gives pillows, money, relief

U.’s drive should be first of many efforts to help hurricane victims


With the oncoming worries and tracking reports of Hurricanes Irma, Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Katia, it seems as though the trauma and devastation of Hurricane Harvey on Texas has been pushed to the background. And although it may seem to make sense to tackle these deadly hurricanes as they come forth, it is important to try to make efforts to starting healing as soon as they hit. This is exactly what Rutgers has attempted to do.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, its 100-mile-per-hour winds came down heavily upon the homes of Texas citizens, causing many of them to be left without any home or shelter.

The Rutgers community sprung into action and started efforts to help those who were devastatingly affected by Hurricane Harvey. These efforts first began as blood drives and fundraisers organized by individual members of the University, but this later expanded into the administration creating “Project Pillow.”

“Project Pillow” is a relief effort that encourages Rutgers students to donate pillows to the victims of Hurricane Harvey who had been displaced and left without a place to rest their head. While pillows were the only items originally being donated, “Project Pillow” quickly grew into an effort that collected money donations as well.

But “Project Pillow” is not the only large-scale relief effort at Rutgers put in place to help hurricane victims — Rutgers Athletics is also helping in their own way.

Rutgers Athletics has been asking for and collecting either new or used clothing and shoes from fans who have attended the football games so far at High Point Solutions Stadium. The University is also planning to partner with the University of Houston’s athletic department in order to find ways to supply the victims with these items.

Rutgers is providing a strong message of unity and compassion in a time when it is needed the most. Although some may think that the victims of a hurricane as dangerous as Hurricane Harvey need more than just pillows, the idea and execution of the relief-effort is more declarative than people think.

Just as representatives of the drive have explained, “Pillow Project” chose to collect pillows because they represent Rutgers’ concern with not only the safety of the victims, but of their comfort as well. This initiative is one that well represents the community of students, faculty and administration at Rutgers. When disaster strikes, even states away, the University and its constituents are there to help.

“Project Pillow” is not just admirable for its purpose and initiative, but for its execution as well. The University administration was able to pull a team together overnight and bring the University together for a greater cause.

Fortunately for Rutgers, it seems as though the effects of the trio-hurricanes will not bring any immediate dangers to it. Just as with the case with Hurricane Harvey, the only effects of the hurricanes may come solely from the news coverage that members of the community will watch. But this should not affect the way Rutgers reaches out.

Just as the University has done so gallantly with Hurricane Harvey, it is up to its community to provide once again. “Project Pillow” is more than just a great start, but more can definitely be done. Rutgers must take the same gusto and compassion it showed to Hurricane Harvey victims to those who have been and will be affected by the natural disasters to come. By continuing down this path, Rutgers will show that it is not just a university unconnected to the rest of the world — it is connected, active and ready to lend a helping hand.

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